IRVING, Texas Wearing jeans and an untucked Dallas Cowboys golf shirt, Tony Romo treated Tuesday as if it was any other day of work.
Well, there were a few differences. Such as the fact he brought mom and dad to team headquarters.
And the six-year, $67.5 million contract he showed up to sign.
On one of the biggest days of his life, Romo remained the average guy he's been since joining the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent five years ago. He said he was humbled by the $11.5 million signing bonus and by cementing a spot in the lineage of Don Meredith-to-Roger Staubach-to-Troy Aikman, but he also insisted the only thing that's going to change is his tax bracket.
Want proof? He's even planning to keep his apartment and his roommate despite having the third-highest annual salary among NFL quarterbacks, ahead of Tom Brady and Brett Favre.
"I never really thought this was a goal along the way. I still don't necessarily perceive it as a goal, but it's something really neat that I get to experience," Romo said, flashing the dimpled aw-shucks grin that's helped him land dates with gorgeous actresses and singers.
"It's special just to be a part of this. The best feeling by far is that the organization, the Jones family, our coaches and everyone say, 'Hey, you're our guy. You're the guy we want to go to the next level with. We want to get back to the Super Bowl around here and win these things.' That means everything, more than the money ever could."
If Romo's attitude seems too good to be true, there's a good reason for it. The story of how he got to this point fits the same description.
Undrafted out of college, he turned down $25,000 signing bonuses elsewhere and took $10,000 from the Cowboys because he liked his chances of beating out the competition. Before last season, his fourth, he still hadn't thrown a pass, but asked for a multimillion-dollar contract as a challenge to his bosses, telling them the more they paid him, the more likely they were to play him.
He got the deal and, eventually, the playing time. The contract numbers show he's made the most of it.
"You can either do this or you can't," he said. "I didn't know if I was, but I put myself in position to succeed."
Romo thought about what the big contract means while sitting in bed Monday night. It was still on his mind when he woke up Tuesday morning. By the time he met the media in the afternoon, he had it sorted out.
"It almost feels like we accomplished something here today, but it doesn't," he said. "This sets you up financially and does all the things that you somewhat hoped for in life, but you don't set it out as a goal when you start out as a football player. This is something that more or less comes along the way."
LOSMAN TO START: Bills quarterback J.P. Losman will get the start Sunday when Buffalo hosts Cincinnati. The team announced on Tuesday that Trent Edwards needs additional time to recover from a sprained right wrist.
STREAK IN JEOPARDY: The loss of Michael Vick is starting to affect the Atlanta Falcons at the ticket booth. The team announced Tuesday that some 3,000 tickets are still available for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, endangering a streak of 56 consecutive sellouts at the 70,000-seat Georgia Dome.